As you have all being reading the Weltschmerz Clutching at Straws tour at the end of the year is quite a large undertaking with 37 mainland European shows and 11 Uk shows taking me right up to the 13th December. There are some very obvious omissions from the mainland tour and a few nationalities have had raised eyebrows.
First of all there are no French shows.My agent went to French promoters and the offers were nowhere near what we needed to support shows. I was personally very disappointed that not even Paris could provide a date on this tour.As I said before without an acceptable offer and a guarantee shows do not happen.
Belgium we tried for a show in Brussels but again no one got back to my agent.
My agent and I decided that we would restrict this part of the tour to central Europe as to extend it beyond 7 weeks could be too demanding on the circus. Next April , May the plan is to return to Europe and take in the Southern and Eastern countries. This will include Italy, Spain and other nations including France for which my agent met a potential promoter recently at a London live music conference.I reiterate that shows will only happen if we get the right offers and I leave my agent to source them.
These will be the final ‘Clutching at Straws’ performances
There are ongoing discussions for a North American tour in March 2019 followed by a South American tour. I can’t promise anything at this point but the potential is being examined by my American agent in the next few months.
Next summer will be open airs and other shows and the focus will be shifting towards ‘Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors’ which I plan to take out with ‘Weltschmerz’ from September 2019 onwards and into my farewell tour in 2020.
I hope this helps some of you understand where the ‘long game’ is as some people have confused final performances of albums with final shows ever..
Meanwhile in the Studio despite the setbacks with illness Steve has been forging ahead and between us we have fine skeletons of 3 songs ‘Little Man What Now?’, ‘Man with the Stick’ and ‘Rose of Damascus’ with a number of parts and sections awaiting designation to other titles.We’re both really pleased with what we have and are more than confident we will have an album ready for recording in July this year.
I’m still in sick bay with my left leg badly infected with cellulitis.After recovering successfuly from the shingles attack my immune system was on the floor and what I originaly thought was a viral flu was in fact a viscious infection that signalled it’s arrival with a 39 degree fever, convulsions and body evacuations before the skin on my lower leg exploded in a very painful rash that grew over last weekend. At the moment my left calf is 43cms in diamerter compared to my right at 23cms!
I was prescribed heavy duty antibiotics after diagnosis last Friday and on Monday after another GP visit more were added to the pill bucket as it was obvious it wasn’t healing fast enough.
Last night it got worse and another GP visit had me introduced to the A and E department in the Royal infirmary in Edinburgh where I spent 4 hours having bloods taken and being administered intravenous antibiotics in an attempt to bring it under control.I was back in today for another IV hit and have 3 more lined up in the coming days.The doctor is confident we will have it ‘fixed’ by the weekend after which I’ll be on an AB course to clear up the outstanding infection.The weird thing is I feel perfectly fine after being in Dantes Inferno over the weekend and apart from a grotesque leg attached to my body the rest is all great!
The reason I got so run down was that a couple of weeks ago my workload became a mountain range when Yatta, who I thought was going to continue as UK tour organiser, resigned completely with immediate effect. Even though he had announced his retirement in May 2016 I had hoped he would have been willing to carry on with the UK set ups as he had done on the December tour. Needless to say I was disappointed but I just had to move forward and deal with it. There were no hard feelings. I just had to accept his decision.
I set to my task that weekend and working around 12 hours a day in the office in the following 5 days I had booked over 150 rooms in 9 different hotels, organised parking every night for the 2 splitter vans I’d hired with Marios my sound guy ( who was an absolute rock in helping me out with various elements), organised a pick up in Leamington after show for the transport to Brussels of all our equipment so we could crossload to the German nighliner trailer my agent has booked, the return journey in November for the UK leg including storage for 2 weeks, managed the flights for band and crew out from Birmingham and home to respective destinations, booked the rehearsal rooms for September and organised all equipment/vehicle movements as well as coordinate all band and crew movements to rehearsals/ first 3 UK shows and the December dates.
On Wednesday night at around 10 O’ clock I switched off the PC and had the first food I’d eaten all day. I’d been pushing myself very very hard but had to get the UK tour logistics in place as it was relatively close to the events and I wanted to clear my decks for writing sessions.I opened my second bottle of wine of the evening and settled down in front of the TV feeling quite proud of my acheivements.
And that was when my system crashed and burned and the cellulitis took control.
As I said I’m feeling fine and the cost may have been high but to have the UK show organisation in place apart from the devilish detail, the tech forwarding very much in the capable hands of Marios and Dominik Droese my tour/production manager able to take the reins from here, a few trips to the Royal for some intravenous antibiotics is an acceptable trade off and I get a chance of an hours relaxation and a catch up on my unfinished reading materials while on the drip.
Everything full bore here as always, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Photo taken by Fin Costello in 1994 for the ‘Suits’ album and Bandwagon Tour